Presentation Virtualization

Presentation Virtualization is an application delivery method that delivers users desktops and applications from a shared server, AKA server based computing. This method of delivering applications to users focuses upon running an instance of each Windows desktop operating system application i.e., Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Office for each user on a shared instance of a Windows Server operating system. (Read More)

The most popular product in this category is Citrix XenApp and its predecessors which include Citrix Presentation Server, and Citrix MetaFrame. In the 6.0 releases of its products, Citrix bundled XenApp into XenDesktop. In the 7.0 releases of its products, XenApp has been made available separately again. Microsoft also has a product in this category – Microsoft Remote Desktop Services, but this offering is mostly used in smaller implementations that do not require the enterprise class features that Citrix offers.

Mobility Bytes – Citrix’s Mobile Strategy Has Sharp Teeth & It’s Attacking from Every Side

DesktopVirtualizationAs you can probably tell from the title, Citrix is leveraging their biggest advantages in the mobility/BYOD race: their understanding of ALL client operating systems, multimedia in both SBC and VDI environments, and their established partnerships with hardware and OS vendors. In a conversation I had with Chris Fleck, VP Mobility & Alliances at Citrix (@chrisfleck), we spent an hour talking about the various methods Citrix has decided to use to manage mobile devices in both multi-user and multi-OS virtual environments, while extending their function from consumption to productivity. Oh, yeah, they have also changed their product and technology names to reflect their commitment to mobility; shocking I know. Continue reading Mobility Bytes – Citrix’s Mobile Strategy Has Sharp Teeth & It’s Attacking from Every Side

Rethinking Thin Clients from a Security Perspective

DesktopVirtualizationCorporate data is floating around on PC’s and laptops, sitting on cloud file-sharing platforms and being transmitted over email.  Laptops and mobile devices are sitting in the trunks of cars at the mall, being left in hotel rooms or lost in the backs of taxis.    Data has become as good as gold.  Credit Card numbers, Social Security numbers, architectural diagrams, marketing plans and source code – each a target for a particular thief.  And just like fine art and jewelry, there is a huge black market of data buyers.  Don’t think your competition wouldn’t want to get their hands on your customer accounts, price lists or intellectual property if they could. There are too many cases in recent history of massive data loss to think that this problem is something that can be easily fixed without changing the way employees get access and use corporate data. Continue reading Rethinking Thin Clients from a Security Perspective

Can Microsoft succeed as a DaaS provider with Mohoro?

DesktopVirtualizationThe recent rumors of Microsoft working on a hosted virtual desktop (DaaS)  solution to add to their cloud services offering  may actually end up being one of the most viable options for organizations who already rely heavily on Microsoft infrastructure to run their business.  Having all of your core services being delivered from a single location and  provider could ease the operational concerns of some who find running a hybrid of on-premise and hosted solutions still requiring the same amount of operational support. Continue reading Can Microsoft succeed as a DaaS provider with Mohoro?

Virtualization News for 4/1/2013

April FoolsThe following important events and vendor/organization announcements have occurred today 4/1/2013:

  1. VMware announced the intention to become a hypervisor only company, and announced therefore that they were shedding all non-core assets including the end user/mobile division, the hybrid cloud division, and the management software division.
  2. Intel announced that they will implement the hypervisor in the next generation of their X86 server platform chips, making software hypervisors completely unnecessary. Intel further announced that the Atom chip is its future strategic chip architecture
  3. Dell announced that they have ported the now unnecessary VMware hypervisor to the Atom chipset and will be using this chipset in all future desktop, server, laptop, tablet and phone offerings
  4. Microsoft announced that it is abandoning Windows, will adopt open source Ubuntu as its strategic operating system, will cease all further development on Windows, will port all products and services that used to only run on Windows to Ubuntu and will adopt the open source KVM hypervisor as its future virtualization layer.
  5. EMC announced that “the day of storage virtualization is here”. EMC further announced that it was abandoning its hardware storage business and would now only sell storage virtualization software at a price of $1 per terabyte per year.
  6. The US Federal Government announced that due to its previous investment in legacy and now worthless IT hardware and software assets that it was declaring bankruptcy in order to remove these now worthless assets from its balance sheet. The US government further announced that it would be using Amazon EC2 for all future computing needs.
  7. Amazon announced that due to demand from the government for its services, it would no longer offer commercial customers any kind of an SLA.
  8. Amazon’s commercial customers cheered this move as  recognition of the fact that Amazon’s SLA’s were worthless in the first place.
  9. CA, IBM, and BMC announced that they are finally abandoning their mainframe systems management software businesses to focus entirely upon Intel X86 based systems software just as Intel announced the move from X86 to Atom- ensuring another 20 year legacy systems management software revenue stream for CA, IBM and BMC.
  10. Adobe announced a digital signature program for PDF files ensuring that customers would never have to print a PDF, sign it, scan it and then email it again.
  11. HP announced that it was going to go “back to its roots” and become just a vendor of printers. HP then announced that it was acquiring Adobe so that it could become the market leader in the printing of the PDF files that Adobe just said would never have to be printed again.
  12. Bill Gates fired Steve Ballmer as the CEO of Microsoft and replaced Steve with himself in this role. Gates then decided to focus Microsoft entirely upon improving the primary and secondary educational system in America and told every Microsoft employee to get a job as a teacher or else they would not get paid.
  13. Steve Ballmer decided to start a new professional sports league focused upon the throwing of chairs.
  14. Veeam announced that it has backed up all of the data in the world, making further backups of any other data unnecessary.
  15. Splunk announced that it has indexed all of the data in the world that Veeam backed up and announced that its future business model was a fee of $1 for each query against that database.
  16. Google announced that it now knows everything about every person in the world that it needs to know. Google further announced that it would open source this data store so that no one could accuse Google of “doing evil”.
  17. Paul Maritz’s new company, The Pivotal Initiative announced a point and click application development interface that allows any code monkey anywhere in the world to develop any desired big data application against the respective data stores of Veeam, Splunk and Google in less than one hour.
  18. Cisco announced that it was abandoning the switch hardware and router hardware businesses and would now be only a vendor of software defined switches and routers at a cost of $1 per software switch and router port per year.
  19. New Relic announced that it was changing its name to Byru, an anagram of Ruby which replaces New Relic which is an anagram of Lew Cirne the founder of New Relic. The company stated that this new name was designed to broaden the appeal of the company beyond the initial 36,000 customers who are personal fans of Lew Cirne.
  20. AppDynamics announced that it was changing its name of StaticApps, because it has discovered that moving applications around hurts their response time and performance.
  21. VMTurbo announced that it has exhumed the body of Milton Friedman, put his brain through a CAT scan, and discovered an algorithm that perfectly allocates IT resources to their highest and best uses across all customers and providers in the world based upon global supply and demand curves.
  22. SolarWinds announced that they were changing the name of the company to MoonWinds, because there are no winds on the moon, in the hope of eliminating all of the barriers to the sale of their products.
  23. ManageEngine announced that they were exiting the business of managing computer systems so as to focus fully on the brand equity of the “Engine” in their product name. The new company will be called CarEngine, and will allow you to manage the engine of your car from your smartphone.
  24. AppSense announced that having virtualized the user, that the next frontier was to virtualize the significant others of every user in their installed base. However AppSense discovered that abstracting users from each other did not generate any revenue other than in the case of impending divorces, which turned AppSense into a law firm that advertises on television.
  25. All of the software start-ups in Silicon Valley who did not want to own servers decided to buy coffee makers with Intel X86 processors, creating a “shadow IT” server infrastructure in these software start ups.
  26. IBM, CA and BMC announced a growth strategy of managing these new farms of X86 server based coffee makers.

Summary

April Fools 2013. Nothing in this post is true. If anything in this post becomes true then we are all fools for not foreseeing it.

Touch to Kill the VDI Star?

Businesses today waltz with the end of the PC. AppSense’s Jon Rolls wrote an interesting blog post on how the Windows desktop has not ceased to be  in the post-PC era. For many businesses the corporate PC and the corporate laptop are increasingly supplemented by a personal tablet, personal laptop, personal smartphone. Perhaps if corporate IT moved faster (or depending on your viewpoint, businesses were willing to invest more in IT), then the rising reality of users believing they must bring in personal devices to be productive would halt, possibly even recede

Other touch capable OSes and screen vendors are available
Other touch capable OSes and screen vendors are available

Yet, even if the organisation can wrest control back from tablet-wielding users by providing appropriate devices, given consumer device trends today those devices will very likely be touch capable, and this trend will increase. I attended an Intel event recently where the speaker reported that at a recent innovation environment held at a school, 99% of the submissions from the innovative teenagers expected any IT interaction to be touch/gesture control rather than a keyboard; not voice either—you can tell Star Trek hasn’t been on TV for a while. Kids today, eh?

Virtualised desktops have one fundamental advantage over physical desktops: they can be transferred between devices. Every other value point for VDI (availability, manageability, security) has a counter point with a physical desktop. For many, transference is a significant productivity benefit, especially if that transference is to a personal device.

If the interaction interface changes so dramatically, if your tablet virtual desktop experience is poor because that interface isn’t designed or can’t accommodate touch, will that hamper VDI dominance?

Could it lead to an early demise?

Continue reading Touch to Kill the VDI Star?

Atlantis ILIO Persistent VDI 4.0 – VDI Game Changer?

DesktopVirtualizationAtlantis Computing have released the first in-memory storage solution for persistent VDI. Setting aside the remoted experience, peripheral support, licensing and off-line access – the most nemesising nemesis for VDI is hardware scale. A major hardware limiting factor is storage performance.

In a transition from physical PCs to virtual work spaces you can move 50,1000,20,000 people from an environment where everyone has their own hard drive in their own device, to a shared environment where there are (hopefully) no longer 50,1000,20,000 hard-drives.  You do this to achieve cost savings. Still, in the majority of instances, the desktop file system and the apps that run on it weren’t designed to understand such consolidation. Many a desktop project fails because the storage infrastructure wasn’t architected with these mismatches in mind.

Yet, desktop virtualization solutions have have matured to accommodate such issues. A range of increasingly impressive VDI appliances: dedicated drive arrays. Way back in 2010 we were reporting that Atlantis Computing were looking to Transform Desktop Computing with their  In Line Image and Optimization (ILIO) product. Atlantis Computing’s core ILIO product sought to address optimizing non-persistent VDI instances, then offered a RAM based solution with their ILIO DiskLess VDI, then presented a way to optimize Citrix XenApp instances. Atlantis’ offerings look to dramatically reduce the physical hardware required to support virtualized desktop infrastructures.

And now to their portfolio, Atlantis Computing add ILIO Persistent VDI 4.0. Some early stability issues aside, Atlantis have developed a strong and supportive market and expanded on it. What is in this release? If 2013 is to be the year of VDI – how does  ILIO Persistent VDI 4.0 help? Importantly, will Atlantis Computing’s  ILIO Persistent VDI  change the game?

Continue reading Atlantis ILIO Persistent VDI 4.0 – VDI Game Changer?